By Roanne Ward

Ever had a staff meeting where you found yourself fantasizing about a more stimulating life outside of work?

Well, at Bard we fortunately don’t have that problem because we’re too busy performing sonnets for each other! That’s right, it’s not just actors who perform Shakespeare at Bard; Administrators, Receptionists, Marketing Managers and Box Office Staff all consider themselves to be Elizabethan actors, at least for a day, because as our lovely Director of Education, Mary Hartman likes to remind us and all of her students, there is no right way to perform Shakespeare and the best way of understanding it is to do it. So, at today’s staff meeting which just so happened to coincide with Valentine’s Day, apart from dealing with the all important and fun day-to-day operations of Bard on the Beach, we read, performed, and listened to sonnets. Shakespeare wrote over 150 beautiful and mysterious sonnets that were only published once during his lifetime but came to be realized as part of his folio of great works later in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Perhaps the most famous and romantic sonnet of them all is sonnet number 18.

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date:
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimm’d;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance, or nature’s changing course, untrimm’d;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest;
Nor shall Death brag thou wander’st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou growest;

So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

Our Artistic Director Christopher Gaze gave an alternative and moving perspective on how Shakespeare is a part of our everyday lives at TEDxVancouver. Love and Shakespeare truly are – all around us.

Happy Valentine’s Day!